September 25, 2023 (MOGADISHU, Somalia): Officials from the Federal Government of Somalia and regional governments concluded national consultations on the preparations for the 2023 Global Refugee Forum (GRF) and National Protection Policy which were held in Mogadishu from the 23rd – 25th September, 2023.
The national consultations which were convened by the National Commission for Refugees and IDPs (NCRI) aimed at taking stock of the implementation of status of the pledges and commitments made by Somalia at the 2019 GRF, highlight challenges, best practices and draw a roadmap and priority areas for pledges towards the December 2023 GRF.
Different ministries, Departments and Agencies from both the Federal Government and Regional States made presentations on the status of implementation of the 2019 GRF pledges within their jurisdiction.
Somalia’s 2019 Pledges
The Federal Government of Somalia made four pledges focusing on burden and responsibility sharing, livelihoods, and solutions in the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in 2019. These commitments included taking concrete steps in the area Relocation and Reintegration, Creation of new jobs within 5 years, finding a permanent solution for the recurring flood/drought cycle that leads to displacement along the Shabeelle and Jubba River regions within 5 years as well as Strengthening the provision of durable solutions to all displaced populations and refugee-returnees through developing an inclusive and rigorous National Durable Solutions Strategy.
Accordingly, Federal Member States (Puntland, Jubaland, and South West) have allocated permanent land in Baidoa, Bossaso, Galkayo, and Kismayo, to enhance reintegration of returnees and find durable solutions for IDPs. The Government also conducted monthly meetings aimed at enhancing self-reliance and reducing protracted IDPs working through the National Durable Solutions Secretariat under the Ministry of Planning, Investment, and Economic Development.
The Federal Government also developed the new Durable Solutions Strategy and National Action Plan 2020–2024 among other achievements. Challenges that were highlighted include lack of funding, as well as focus constantly shifting from durable solutions to responding to emergencies caused by the recurring climate shocks and conflicts.
Somalia’s Preparation for 2023 GRF
Hon. Sadad Mohamed, the Minister of State for Interior, Federal Affairs, and Reconciliation Federal Government of Somalia appreciated the work of technical teams and partners towards the displacement situation in the country and affirmed that the Global Refugee Forum was a unique opportunity to reaffirm Somalia’s commitment to displacement affected communities and the determination to improve their living conditions.
“In formulating new pledges, let’s consider the pressing needs of displaced and refugee populations in tandem with available resources and the feasibility of our pledges,” said Hon. Sadad.
A draft roadmap for the Federal Government of Somalia’s preparation for the December 2023 GRF was proposed including documenting all key achievements of the 2019 pledges and refining proposals for new pledges.
National Protection Policy Validated
The national consultations also served as a platform to review and validate the NCRI Protection Policy for Refugees, IDPs and Returnees. Presented by the NCRI Commissioner, Ms. Safia Mohamed, the protection policy provides government-led guidelines to support the coordination of the IDPs, refugees, asylum seekers, and refugee returnee programmes.
The Policy is anchored on the principles of inclusion and participation, do no harm, non-discrimination, child Protection, family unity, the principle of non-refoulement and respect for human rights.
The Head of Social Development at the IGAD Secretariat, Dr. Mohamed Elduma commended the Federal Government of Somalia for creating policies and programmes to create durable solutions to thousands of displaced communities despite the challenges. He said that through the IGAD Support Platform on Forced Displacement, additional support is being mobilised to coordinate the delivery of technical and financial support for refugees, returnees and host communities.
Participation in the national consultations included the UNHCR Somalia, civil society organisations and representatives of refugee hosting communities.